The 5 Steps to Influencer Marketing in 2015

5StepsToInfluenceInfluencer marketing is a topic that has been discussed widely for years but as the web has developed and the influence of individuals has changed dramatically, so has the way approach them.

Essentially Influencer Marketing can be defined as the concept of creating relationships which are mutually beneficial to brand and influencer. The influencer receives something in return for the brand borrowing the social capital they possess. And social capital converts, in fact, AdWeek reports 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from other people, even strangers, over branded content.

Branding and digital strategy expert, Minter Dial calls this concept of social capital, WIIFM (What’s in it for me). Influencer Marketing shouldn’t be about using others to your advantage it should be about creating common value between individuals and brand. By demonstrating value to your influencers, they will give support and affiliation in return.

There are five key areas to a successful influencer marketing campaign:

1. Identification: Where do you find your audiences and influencers?

First you need to lay out your strategy and set your objectives. This should give you an idea of the audience you want to reach. The next step is to identify where these communities exist and understand who is influencing them.

So start by thinking about who you want to reach. Regardless of if it’s car lovers or fast food enthusiasts the concept stays the same. With careful research, you will start to identify the influencers in these communities. These are the people who have the reach to amplify a message to the rest of the community.

2. Interaction: How do these influencers communicate? What content do they share?

Now you’ve identified these influencers you have to start thinking about what will engage them.

Whatever material you take to your influencers should be informed by how they are already communicating with each other. Are they sharing graph, infographics, images or articles? Where do they take this content from? Social? Newswires? Magazines? Forums? Once you have pulled out some common trends then you need to define the mix of channel and content best suited to your objectives.

3. Introductions: How can brands join these conversations in an authentic manner?

Obviously creating a relationship with someone doesn’t happen overnight. Imagine if you leaned in to kiss someone you had just met. It’s all a bit too much, a bit too soon. Remember integrity, honesty, and patience are the keys to building a relationship whether it is a personal one or a professional one.

Kick things off by explaining who you are to these influencers. Remember clarity is key. Make sure you explain why what you’re sharing will bring them benefits. Don’t ask for anything from them, make sure you are giving them something that will actually help them with their job. Every relationship must be mutually beneficial.

Innovation: What tools should you be using to carry out your campaign?

Obviously you wouldn’t chop down a tree with a steak knife or chop toast with a chainsaw. So why would you try to do everything we’ve explained without the right tools for the job?

Use technology to make thing easy, there’s a range of tools out there to automate admin, improve understanding and even identify influencers themselves. Interested in hearing more? Check out our 2015 guide to media relation tools.

4. Interpretation: How can you measure the impact on your business?

Every campaign can be measured differently and every outcome can be something else. The important thing to understand though is the impact can take time to come through.

So keep your eye on the prize and make sure everything you do is working towards the same objectives. This article from Rich Leigh explains more about how to set goals and measure results using Google Analytics.

Sound simple?

With the right strategy, tools and know-how, it should be. We’re social animals, it should almost come naturally but remember, start building relationships now and you will reap the rewards in the long term.

At Prezly, we’ve spent the last month speaking to some of the leading lights in marketing and communications to uncover what influencer marketing means to them. See what they had to say in the Slideshare below and don’t forget to check out our complete guide to influencer marketing.

20 influencer marketing quotes from Prezly

VincxFrederik Vincx is the co-founder of Prezly, a CRM for PR Pros. He spent the past 5 years building software that helps teams improve their relationship with the media, bloggers and stakeholders.
You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

12 Resources to Generate Leads with Social Media

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photo credit: photopin

While some say that social media marketing is overrated, we say “what’s the harm?” There’s no reason not to invest in something that has overall positive reviews, especially when it comes in lead generation. According to Hubspot, social media isn’t just a fad. In fact, 92% of marketers agreed that social media is important for their business. Moreover, by spending as little as 6 hours per week, over 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media.

The list of “positive reviews” goes on and on.

So, are you ready to make use of “à la mode” tools and resources to generate leads and boost your sales? Here are a few that might help.

Posting and Monitoring Resources:

  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite is almost synonymous with social media. This is a brilliant monitoring service that will tag keywords or red flag mentions related to your company or service. Hootsuite allows you to keep a close eye on anyone who has been discussing you, the problem you serve, or any other topics important to you.
  • TweetDeck: Here’s another monitoring tool that is perfect for tracking and organization social mentions. Use this tool for “engagement” and bringing in a new stream of potentials to your pages.

Measurement and Analytics Resources:

  • HubSpot: This is the ultimate lead generation resource. Hubspot helps social media marketers assess traffic and lead generation using social media or other channels. This is a great tool for determining how far your social media efforts have gone in terms of results.
  • Topsy: If you’re a fan of Twitter, here’s a tool that might help! Topsy allows users to judge the popularity of a certain keywords and hashtags. This is especially useful for Twitter campaigns, allowing you to judge how often a hashtag was used throughout your campaign.
  • Facebook Pages Manager: Make Facebook page managing easier by not having to open and scour through numerous Facebook pages every time. Facebook Page Manager will connect with your Facebook audience and keep up with multiple pages through a single application. You can post photos and statuses, get push notifications for new activity, reply to comments on your pages, get tips and more.
  • Seesmic: Integrate this app to any major platform you can think of (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, etc.) and you can manage you social media accounts on the go. View your network streams all in one place in an interface that looks very much like an email platform. This is available in both desktop and mobile applications.
  • Klout: Want to know how influential you’ve been with your social media accounts? Kloutlets you track your progress on some of the most popular social network. Examine how your shares and tweets change overtime, check which content made the hit-list, and more.

Blogs and other Resources:

  • 6 Ways to Capture Leads from Facebook Pages: Here’s a brilliant resource written by Amanda Webb detailing ways you can capture leads on Facebook. She goes into depth about each “tip n’ trick” with pictures and examples included.
  • 5 New Ways Twitter Can Get You More Business: Here’s a great article published on Wordtracker by Amanda DiSilvestro. Owing to recent changes in Twitter, lead generation is not the same as it was before. DiSilvestro discusses how you can make use of these features to your advantage and juice up your marketing strategies.
  • Twitter LeadGen Cards—B2B Domination (Case Study): Jessica takes us through a case study based on Webtrends experience with Twitters new features for advertisers. As per the study, Web trends managed to accelerate its lead gen in a matter of months by nearly 1,000 percent. Now that’s huge!
  • Best Practices for Instagram Marketing and Lead Generation: Instagram marketing has great potential and Annetta Powell thinks so too. She writes about how you can use spectacular visual content on this channel to generate leads and the “best practices” that will capture maximum attention.
  • Pinterest Lead Generation 101—Best Practices and Hack that Will Make You a Pro: Here’s a great resource on Hubspot for SMM’s targeting the Pinterest fan base. Ginny Soskey goes through comprehensive strategies, practices, and “hacks” that will increase both direct and indirect leads through Pinterest.

IMG_0739Alison Stone is a creative writer and blogger who tackles academic to creative topics on different blogs. When not blogging, she works at Dissertation cube where she provides help to students who come and ask her write my coursework. Find her on Google+.